Background: Intrabiliary rupture is the most common complication of hepatic hydatid disease (HHD), and persistent biliary leakage is the most frequent complication after surgery for HHD. In this study, we evaluated the outcome of endoscopic sphincterotomy (ES) performed in the management of postoperative biliary fistula in 33 patients with HHD and investigated the effects of the daily output of the fistula and the timing of the ES on the duration of the fistula.
Methods: Between January 1994 and April 2000, 33 patients (20 female, 13 male; median age, 44 years; range, 17-72) underwent ES at our clinics. The daily output of the biliary fistula ranged from 100 ml to 1000 ml (mean, 430 ml; in 18 patients < or = 400 ml; in 15 patients, >400 ml). The interval between the occurrence of the fistula and the performance of the ES ranged from 7 days to 5 months (median, 20 days; in 12 patients, < or = 2 weeks; in 21 patients >2 weeks).
Results: In patients with fistula output 400 ml (n = 18) and >400 ml (n = 15), the average closure times for the fistula after ES were 10.7 +/- 4.5 and 10.4 +/- 4.9 days, respectively (t-test: p = 0.847, t = 0.195). In patients (n = 2) with a short interval between the occurrence of the fistula and ES (<2 weeks), the average closure time for the fistula was 11.6 +/- 5.6 days, whereas for the patients (n = 15) with longer intervals (>2 weeks) it was 9.4 +/- 3.9 days (t = test: p = 0.254, t = 1.180). The drainage from the fistula stopped after an average of 9.88 +/- 4.83 days in all patients who underwent ES, and there were no any complications. Pearson's correlation test (PC) showed no significant relationship between the time for the complete closure time of the fistula after ES and the fistula output (PC=-0.253, p=0.155) or for the duration of the fistula before endoscopic retrograde cholangio pancreatography (ERCP) (PC = -0.333, p = 0.058).
Conclusions: Endoscopic sphincterotomy is safe and effective and should be considered the minimally invasive procedure of choice for the management of postoperative biliary fistula due to HHD because it obviates the need for reoperation. If the sphincterotomy is successful, neither the daily output not the duration of the fistula has any influence on the time required for complete closure of the fistula.